JANUARY 26, 2005

The manufacturers meet today

The manufacturers involved in Formula 1 will meet today to discuss their reaction to the recent announcement that the FIA, Ferrari and Formula One Management have agreed terms for a new "Concorde Agreement" that will run from 2008 to 2012. Ferrari will not attend the meeting. The existing Concorde Agreement includes all the teams, the FIA and FOM and so to label the deal a new version of this is not entirely correct.

The manufacturers are expected to discuss what they want to do after the current comes to an end in December 2007. They are expected to discuss ways in which they want the rules of F1 to be and how to ensure that spending does not drive the small teams out of business. This will obviously mean some system of assistance to those with less money than the big players. his discussion is not that different from discussions which have been going on in recent years within F1 which have led to the provision of a cheap supply of engines this year to the Jordan team. If the manufacturers can solve this problem without breaking up the unity of the teams, then it will have won a major victory over the system that currently operates.

The catchword in F1 team circles at the moment is "unity" because the teams know that if they start to disagree with one another they are lost when taking on the combined might of FOM, Ferrari and the FIA. If they stick together, however, they believe that the trio will have to come back to the negotiating table - which seems to be a fairly sound strategy. For years the teams have been divided and conquered but now it seems they are bnot going to let that happen.

If it can be avoided.